South Scotland

Steve Cairns gets Kielder Marathon 'cheat' medal

A runner has received a marathon medal after a rival was disqualified amid claims he caught a bus.

Steve Cairns, a policeman from Peebles, thought he had finished third in last week's Kielder Run in Northumberland.

However, when he reached the finish line he found another runner there who he did not remember overtaking him.

Race rival Rob Sloan, of Sunderland, was later disqualified from the race and returned his medal but has denied accusations that he cheated.

Mr Cairns received his medal personally from Olympic athlete and race director Steve Cram in Edinburgh.

He told BBC Scotland: "It was quite confusing initially, I had been running pretty much the second half of the race on my own and felt I was happy in third, I wanted third.

"If anyone came close to me I was getting ready to respond.

"So when I crossed the line and they said here's the fourth placed runner, it was quite a shock."

He then decided to confront Mr Sloan over the issue.

Image caption Steve Cairns looked on as Rob Sloan picked up his medal after the race

"Obviously, when you finish a marathon you are quite tired but I knew in my head that I was third," he said.

"I asked a marshal who was the third placed runner and they pointed to this gentleman Rob Sloan who was doing an interview."

Mr Cairns said he decided to challenge him "there and then" just to put his "mind right".

He added: "He has apologised to the organisers and admitted he made a mistake - it is other witnesses that have said they saw him hop on a bus.

"The last point I saw him he was in ninth place and five minutes behind me, so to get to the finish before me was quite a feat."

Mr Sloan has now been expelled by his running club the Sunderland Harriers.

After being disqualified from the race, he told the BBC: "I'm upset and angry that someone wants to cast these aspersions.

"It's laughable is what it is, where they've come from I don't know."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites